Does it really matter if I take the time to put my dishes in the dishwasher rather than leaving them on the table? Does it really matter if I pack the kids lunches for school? Does it really matter if I start my mate’s car on a cold frosty morning? Does it really matter if I say “I love you” an extra time or two each day? Does it really matter if we pray together every single day? Does it really matter if I’m the one who feeds the pets? Does it really matter if I help my spouse fold the laundry? Does it really matter if I call my spouse, just to see what kind of day he/she is having? Does it reallymatter if I pick up a nice little surprise for my spouse when I stop at the store? Does it really matter if I show an extra measure of kindness to my spouse’s family? Does it really matter if I open the door for my spouse, or get my spouse a blanket on a cold evening, or shut of my electronic devices when he/she is talking to me? Does it really matter if…
The list could go on—dozens of little things we can do for our mates every single day. Sometimes, it’s the same things each day, and sometimes it’s little things that only occur periodically. But do the little things matter? Well, the answer is both no, and yes. No, it doesn’t matter who takes out the trash, so long as the task gets done. But yes, it does matter, because the little things are often how we demonstrate our love for our mates in a consistent, daily way. It is a way of saying, “I want to do whatever little things I can to bless you and make your day easier.” It is saying, “I love you, not just in words, but also in actions.” It is recognizing, “We are one flesh, and what blesses and benefits you, blesses and benefits me.”
In doing the little things, we need to be careful of two things. First, be careful that you don’t take your mate for granted, and the turn the little blessings into overbearing demands. Certainly there are expectations in any relationship about who will fill what roles and do which tasks, but don’t let daily kindnesses turn into unrealistic or uncommunicated expectations that create a rift. Second, while it is nice to show your mate appreciation for what he/she does, don’t do your acts of kindness for your mate for the sake of stroking your own ego or getting something in return. If it is selfishly motivated or manipulative, it is no longer an act of kindness for the good the marriage.
Do the little things matter? They matter more than most of us ever realize, even if the significance isn’t always vocalized. Figure out a few definitive ways you can bless your mate this week by attending to those little things that really do matter. And as you serve your love, be sure to thank him/her for all those “insignificant” things he/she does for you that really are significant.
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